Posted by | January 2, 2012 10:34 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

If, as is currently expected, Governor Romney emerges from tomorrow’s caucuses with Rep. Paul and Sen. Santorum as his chief rivals, he will be well on his way to the nomination.  However, he will be a weaker general election candidate than he was several months ago.  Discussing the effect of Paul, Santorum, Rick Perry, and their predecessors on center stage of the Republican circus, Frank Bruni writes,

None of these three men is likely to win the Republican nomination. But before they exit stage right — stage far right, that is — they and a few of their similarly quixotic, similarly strident competitors will do no small measure of damage to the Republican Party and no great favors to the country as a whole. What happens in Iowa doesn’t stay in Iowa: it befouls Republicans’ image nationally, becomes a millstone around the eventual nominee’s neck and legitimizes debate about some matters that shouldn’t be debatable.

Romney will now face the choice of either continuing to hold positions that alienate much of the electorate or again flip-flopping back to the views he held as Massachusetts governor.  Either option helps the President.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.